Ballet Summer Intensive Day One

Ballet Summer Intensive Day One

danceIt’s not often I talk about ballet on this blog, not because I don’t think it’s interesting but because it just seems like it’d be so random compared to everything else I’ve ever written. Like I always want to relate it to my writing life somehow, but I want to be able to write about ballet just for the sake of ballet.

As you all know, I am an adult ballet dancer who has done ballet for two years and been en pointe for one year. During those two years I have progressed through five levels and am currently in level six, or what is known as the Juniors level at my dance school.

Today started the summer intensives. I did summer intensive last year at another dance school because it was closer and required less gas, but this year I’m doing it at my home school because, well, I frankly love the school better than the other one.

I’ve been away from ballet for a month, and my poor legs are feeling it. My right knee aches for some unknown reason, and the tendon in my hip feels like it’s caught on something, but I don’t think it is. I would have been able to get away with not exercising for a month if I were doing level 5, but not level 6. I seriously wish I would have just walked the darned treadmill so my leg muscles could stay used to getting worked.

But juniors was both a challenge and an excitement for me. Compared to when I tried Juniors last summer, I have improved. Barre was just dandy, but I screwed up some in the center, which doesn’t bother me. After all, if I were perfect, I wouldn’t be in class. I’d be off dancing in some glitzy company. But I felt comfortable screwing up because the teacher is Mrs. Renee Toole, and she is a peach. She introduced herself to me and everything because I was the only face she had never seen before (I never had a chance to take a class with her because I usually work on Saturdays).

I know I need to work on spacing in the center because there are two girls in the class I dance with that I danced with in Level 5, and we were crammed on one another as we did our turns and jumps. I also need to work on honing my brain in on the exercises 100% because going from simple across-the-floor movements, like pique, jete entournant, to pique, jete entournant, tombe pas de bourre, pirouette, ect… is a heck of a difference and requires that my brain be very awake so I can soak in the exercise. But ballet class was so much fun and I look forward to Wednesday and Thursday. No longer am I afraid of the higher levels as I was last year.

Pointe class was a different story. During the summer, there is beginning pointe, pointe 1, and pointe 2. I thought pointe 2 was supposed to be my main class, but when she put a fouette turn in the middle en pointe, I realized pointe 2 is my challenge class and pointe 1 is my main class. I can do pirouttes en pointe and MIGHT get lucky to pull off an outward fouette en pointe, but I am certainly not ready for fouettes period en pointe, unless they are at the barre. But even though it was still challenging, I received the benefits of a good exercise and it will help me maintain my strength for pointe work.

But ballet is just plain fun for me, and I look forward to the rest of the summer. I will blog about any milestones I come across.

Dancer performing Fouetté en tournant. A dance...
Dancer performing Fouetté en tournant. A dancer spots while performing .(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6 thoughts on “Ballet Summer Intensive Day One

  1. I certainly remember these days well – fouettes – what fun! I particularly remember the teachers always telling the class – DO NOT WHIP!

    1. I’m still trying to get them on flat! When Juniors was my challenge class we barely did fouettes for some reason. We did them at the barre in one class, and once in the center with a combination, but then they were forgotten for the rest of the year. I find outward ones much easier to do though.

      1. fouettes en dehors are always easier becuase of the momentum turning outwards – the supporting leg remains turning out (example – left leg) and the coordination of the arm, leg and head (rt arm, lrt leg) moving in the turning direction – and lets not forget the trailing arm – in this case the left, which is going in the same direction – comes in creating a tight package as the body turns on the pointe.

        fouettes are a study in coordination and timing – all dance is really, but the fouette needs to be in sync in a way in which all of the parts work efficiently – the head spotting, the momentum created by the arms, legs, plie and the lift of the upper body carriage which must be ‘straight’ up, so as not to wobble on the pointe – the body is like a spinning top! travelling fouettes – another story:)

  2. I feel that having another activity, besides writing, to occupy your mind outside of work, is helpful not only to the writing, but also everything else in your life. For me, early on, it was the cello, and now my children occupy that space.

    And now, even though I have attended several ballet performances, I know much more about ballet.

    1. Oh, the cello! How awesome! I once tried the violin, until my cat tore up my bow and messed up a string. T_T So now it’s ballet and so far this seems like it’ll be lifelong.

  3. I have put the cello aside for now, but one day I will return to it. Yo Yo Ma’s rendition of the works of Bach influenced my decision to pick up the cello. The sounds it makes are so low, rich and beautiful.

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